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New Yorkers Turn Out To Recycle Christmas Trees At MulchFest

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New Yorkers this weekend were making the most of old Christmas trees by making them into mulch.

As CBS2's Dave Carlin reported, New Yorkers went to city Department of Parks and Recreation MulchFest sites across the city throughout the weekend. What were indoor, decorated Christmas trees were brought back outside to nourish city parks in every borough.

The annual event was not done in by the extreme cold this weekend. Not only did thousands of people citywide bring their trees to parks to be chipped in to mulch, but some – such as 13-year-old Sammy Goldston -- carried trees for several blocks.

In his case, he carried a tree seven blocks from his family's home in Park Slope, Brooklyn to Prospect Park.

"It's better than throwing it out, and it'll help the park," Sammy said.

he was the one who got his father involved.

"He's the leader on this cause here, absolutely, and I'm following," said Jim Goldston.

"I love the way it smells when they grind up the trees," said Ginny Dorris of Park Slope. "It just has a great odor."

Those who brought in their old trees made it a party at the Prospect Park location and others across the city, were there were free giveaways of apples, hand warmers, and hot chocolate.

"It's terrific for the park. It's terrific to recycle the trees. It's all – it's a great thing," said Mac Dorris of Park Slope.

Also among the free parting gifts of were bags of mulch for people could take home with them and put in their own gardens.

Sanda and Thomas Flager brought their tree and their baby Lucas, instilling in him -- as early as they could – a message about waste.

"Thinking about what you take and how you can return it to nature," Sanda Flager said.

"We're going to try to chip as many of these trees as we can," said John Jordan of the Prospect Park Alliance.

Jordan said more than 1,000 trees will be chipped at the Prospect Park location, with a citywide estimate of about 26,000 ground down and spread.

And now that MulchFest is over, remember the New York City Sanitation Department continues to collect them curbside through Saturday, Jan. 13.

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